We're off to Chesil Beach for a mini-break.
The boundaries of romance have spread, and family life has evolved. Lisa Appignanesi argues that the greatest story ever told now springs modern surprises on readers
When did the modern novel get so long and unwieldy? Sometimes the best things come in small packages, says Arifa Akbar
A version of Kazuo Ishiguro's Let Me Go will open the London Film Festival. Yet Salman Rushdie is ignored by directors, and Martin Amis struggles on screen. Geoffrey Macnab reports
The opinionated and divisive poet-critic Craig Raine is retiring from his teaching post at Oxford University. But as the dusty halls breathe a sigh of relief, the fiction critics are sharpening their knives...
The writer Ian McEwan, right, whose brooding novels led him to acquire the nickname of "Ian Macabre" early in his career, is not normally associated with the upper-class humorist P G Wodehouse – not least because he once stated: "I hate comic novels". But yesterday his latest work of fiction, Solar, was deemed to capture "the comic spirit of Wodehouse" as it was shortlisted for a comic fiction award.
The week in books
The Booker Prize-winning novelist and sometime screenwriter, Ian McEwan, tells me he spent six months meticulously researching and writing a sequel to David Cronenberg film, 'The Fly', in 1995, which he considered his "best screenplay". 'Flies', (not to be mistaken with 1989's 'The Fly II') was to star Geena Davis, who featured opposite Jeff Goldblum in 'The Fly', and who owned the "fly concept" along with 20th Century Fox. McEwan says: "Our movie was going to begin with Geena Davis giving birth to twin boys, and it was written in a realistic mode. She fears her children will be deformed but she gives birth to two perfectly healthy babies. As they become teenagers, they become stranger and stranger, as teenagers do, and quite hyperactive. She has always worried that they inherited the (fly) gene. They become more manic, and one first becomes more fly like, then the other follows....It was my best screenplay... I really wanted this to have no foundation in anything other than genetics." There was a disagreement, leading the project to halt, he added. "I would like to see it made," he said.
Ian McEwan's new novel, Solar, satirises the low compulsions of an absurd scientist but celebrates the high aims of scientific research. Boyd Tonkin meets the 'imaginative rationalist' of British literature
Barbara Cartland's stranglehold over the nation's heartstrings is being challenged by a curious breed: this Valentine's Day, the romantic novel in your hands might have been written – try not to blush, now – by a man
Tomorrow is officially the most dispiriting day of the year, but don't even think about fighting it, says James Kidd: it's far more rewarding to embrace the gloom in the company of a masterpiece of misery
'Kate Moss's party on the Great Wall of China was outstanding'
As the doyenne of classic simplicity, Nicole Farhi is celebrating a quarter century at the top of her profession. She talks to Carola Long about the exotic inspiration for her new collection and her passion for interior design
Martin Amis, the novelist turned socio-political ponderer, is well accustomed to the occasional beating in his native Britain, particularly regarding his regular denunciations of Islam in the years since the 9/11 terror attacks. But the anti-Amis brigade is suddenly attracting new recruits across the Atlantic.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fairest Booker book of all? Trying to judge literary excellence by committee means that the prize has sometimes fallen victim to compromise voting, tokenism, or the suspicion that a book suitsthe prize rather thandeserves it. It's hard to claim that the 41 prize-winning novels in the Booker's history represent the flower of English literature between 1969 and 2007.